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info about HiJackThis log entries


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#1 mberg

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 09:03 AM

Hi guys!

I don't need any log analysis. I'm only trying to have a better understanding of the HiJackThis log file I got after scanning my PC. I hope I'm posting in the right forum.

I'm not using any Sidebar, and in the log I find:

O4 - HKUS\S-1-5-19\..\Run: [Sidebar] %ProgramFiles%\Windows Sidebar\Sidebar.exe /autoRun (User 'LOCAL SERVICE')

Can I safely delete this?

I'm also wondering if I can delete entries like:

O2 - BHO: (no name) - {5C255C8A-E604-49b4-9D64-90988571CECB} - (no file)

O3 - Toolbar: (no name) - {851552F5-B878-4b03-904F-2AD6A4CC8994} - (no file)

from my registry. They look like remains of something gone...

I've also noticed that in many O23 entries, I have Unknown owner and (file missing).
e.g.
O23 - Service: @comres.dll,-2797 (MSDTC) - Unknown owner - C:\Windows\System32\msdtc.exe (file missing)

Do you know why?

Thanks a lot for your answers! :-)

Bye,
Mattia.

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#2 quietman7

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 09:25 AM

HijackThis is an advanced enumerator (similar in some respects to a registry editor) that is used to display certain areas of the Windows registry where the majority of malware reside. HijackThis will scan these areas of your system and then create a log to help diagnose the presence of undetected malware in known hiding places. However, since HijackThis only scans certain areas of a computer's system/registry, a log may not always show all the malware on your system and other investigative tools need to be used. Most of the log entries are required to run a computer and removing essential ones can potentially cause serious damage such as loss of Internet connectivity or problems with your operating system which could preventing it from starting. Using HijackThis requires advanced knowledge about the Windows Operating System and relies on trained experts to interpret the log entries and investigate them in order to determine what needs to be fixed.

Since HijackThis is a powerful tool that requires advanced knowledge about the Operating System and can cause system damage if used incorrectly, only designated trained experts are allowed to help people with using HijackThis. If you do not have advanced knowledge about computers or training in the use of this tool, you should NOT fix anything using HijackThis without consulting a expert as to what to fix.

With that said, there are tutorials available for advanced users which will help you understand more clearly about the use of HijackThis and what it does.Information about sidebar.exe /autoRun.

O2 entries corresponds to toolbars (Browser Helper Objects) in Internet Explorer. If you have removed a BHO the entry in the registry may show as a remnanat in HijackThis but indicate there no longer is a file associated with it. O3 entries corresponds to options located under the Tools menu in Internet Explorer. If you removed such options they too may show as a remnant registry entry in HijackThis but indicate there no longer is a file associated with it. These entries generally can be fixed.

Your description of the many O23 entries indicates that you are using a 64-bit system.

Microsoft created a new folder (C:\Windows\SysWOW64) that contains all the 32-bit .dll files required for compatibility which run on top of the 64-bit version of Windows. WOW64 is the x86 emulator that allows 32-bit Windows-based applications to run on 64-bit Windows but x86 applications are re-directed to the x86 \syswow64 when seeking the x64 \system32. For a more detailed explanation, please refer to Making the Move to x64: File System Redirection and WOW64 Implementation Details. Be aware that many of the tools we use for malware removal are designed for 32-bit systems and do not work or can give misleading results on 64-bit machines. For instance, running HijackThis on a 64-bit machine may show log entries which indicate (file missing) when that is NOT always the case. Anti-malware scanners and many specialized fix tools have problems enumerating the drivers and services on 64-bit machines so they do not always work properly.
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#3 mberg

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 09:45 AM

Thanks a lot for your very quick answers!

I just checked and I don't even have the sidebar executable in the directory pointed by that registry entry... I think it is really crap left by the uninstaller...

Microsoft created a new folder (C:\Windows\SysWOW64) that contains all the 32-bit .dll files required for compatibility which run on top of the 64-bit version of Windows. WOW64 is the x86 emulator that allows 32-bit Windows-based applications to run on 64-bit Windows but x86 applications are re-directed to the x86 \syswow64 when seeking the x64 \system32.

Of course! you are right! I forgot that!

I will also take a look at the tutorials!

Thanks again!

Bye,
Mattia.

#4 quietman7

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 02:27 PM

You're welcome.

Just so you know, Given the sophistication of malware hiding techniques used by attackers in today's environment, HijackThis is limited in its ability to detect infection and generate a report outside these known hiding places. This limitation has made its usefulness nearly obsolete since a HijackThis log cannot reveal all the malware residing on a computer. As such, HijackThis has been replaced by other preferred tools like DDS, OTL and RSIT that provide comprehensive logs with specific details about more areas of a computer's system, files, folders and registry keys which may have been modified by malware infection.
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